Justin Gaethje is definitely an exciting striker. He also got the opportunity to try and capture the UFC lightweight title twice – and failed both times.
Gaethje duked it out with Charles Oliveira back in May. Much of the coverage was dedicated to Oliveira’s scales snafu and subsequent conspiracy theories linked to him getting stripped of his title.
Prior to the clash, Gaethje gave a number of interviews. These interviews painted a specific picture of Charles Oliveira.
“If he can beat me, then kudos to him, but he’s going to have to walk through hell like Khabib did.”
“He’s not as powerful, he doesn’t have the structure, he doesn’t have the frame and he doesn’t have explosive takedowns.
“He’s going to have to find me making a mistake overreaching and try to get it to a grappling situation.
“Outside that he’d better be praying everyday that he gets me to the ground because if not it’s going to be the same fight as Chandler except five rounds.”
“If I went five rounds with Chandler, he would’ve died and that’s the truth, so I’m glad we didn’t go five rounds.”
Of course, Gathje went on to lose via submission to Charles Oliveira. Recently he looked back on the loss and explained:
“It’s the reason I love it. It’s a game of inches, and at the end of the day, being at home in front of my crowd, sometimes you lose control of your emotions. I’m not exactly sure what happened. I had the time of my life, but it’s a crazy game we play.”
“I haven’t lost one night’s sleep over it because ultimately I can only control my preparation,” Gaethje added. “I do regret not controlling my emotions entirely, but we play a fun game. It’s an emotional game. It’s damn near impossible.”
Gaethje is scheduled to undergo a nose surgery and will likely be out of action for a while. As for Oliveira, he’s in the midst of negotiations as the ‘number 1’ contender for the title he never actually lost.